Unladylike by Heather Lewis

Unladylike

You’re so cute, he says.
My lips retract, not a smile but
A feral baring of teeth.
I do not tell him the truth,
That would be unladylike.

I do not tell him the truth –
That I am dangerous.
That I am the eater of black hearts.
That I am the devourer of shallow minds.
That I am the seeker of truths.
That I am the giver of life and
The bringer of death.

He sees only
A round face,
Soft skin,
The temptation of ripe curves.
He is blind to the chaos
Barely contained by my
Tender flesh and frail bones.
He cannot understand
The wildness of me.
He cannot know the ravenous hunger
For things he could never dare to dream.

And so I smile and say thank you,
Just the way I was trained to do.

(c) Heather Lewis

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Heather says of this poem

I wrote this piece several months ago, I had strayed from my spiritual path, caught up with life and only recently found my way back again. As I was reflecting on the Morrigan and what is she expects of me, it occurred to me how the way women are socialized to accept traditional gender roles often clashes with and suffocates those aspects of womanhood that the Morrigan seeks to nurture in us – basically how women can often finding themselves hiding their wildness and power – all the things that a patriarchal society doesn’t understand and therefore, fears. And so I just started writing about the way women are often perceived versus the truth of womanhood and by the time I was finished, I had this piece

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Heather is 34 years old, currently studying English lit and creative writing at Morehead State University in Kentucky. She has not previously been published, though she is currently working on a small collection of poetry and short fiction which she hopes to find an audience for in the not too distant future.

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